MOON TOWNSHIP– RMU men’s soccer (1-6-0) continued their non-conference struggles with a 2-0 loss against rival Duquesne (5-0-1) on Wednesday. This marks the third loss for RMU against the Dukes in the last four matches between the two squads.
The Colonials played a decent game against the Dukes, outshooting them 17-13 over the course of the entire game. They had control of the momentum throughout a good amount of the first half. Though RMU attempted a lot of shots, very few found their way on goal, which has been a struggle for the Colonials all season to this point. When they did find their mark on goal, Duquesne goalkeeper Robbie McKelvey was there to make the save.
“Today was the first time we looked like we wanted to score,” said Coach Denniston when asked about failing to capitalize on chances. Captain Oeyvind Skjesol said that “some chances we had weren’t good enough, and also for some of them, I thought we were really unlucky.”
The second half opened with the Colonials applying some good pressure on the Dukes, with both Riccardo Rota and Christian Coridon getting solid chances, but they failed to score on them. All it took was one fastbreak, however, for the Dukes to capitalize, as Manel Busquets made a cross over to Jack Shearer who made it 1-0. Still, the momentum was even at this point, and RMU kept pushing as they looked for an equalizer. Those hopes were cut short however in the 78th-minute as another fastbreak led to a nice move by Busquets to give the Dukes a 2-0 lead, where it would stay for the rest of the match.
The Colonials have some big adjustments and decisions to make for the near future. NEC conference play begins very soon and the Colonials need to turn things around in order to have success. For one thing, the Colonials have rotated between all three of their goalies this season. With nobody proving themselves to take the starting role, Coach Denniston said that “For the time being, the rotation will continue,” meaning that there is still the opportunity for any of the three to take advantage and grab the role.
For the rest of the squad, it’s getting down to crunch time with conference play looming. Talking about the missed opportunities today, Christopher Coridon said that “We need to put those chances away, especially when it comes to conference play… because now it matters.” Oeyvind Skejsol is confident in the team’s abilities when conference play rolls around as he stated, “I’ve been here for three years now and we always step it up when the conference begins.” Still, a lot needs to be fixed if the Colonials hope for success in the NEC this year.